Whack, the softball soared out over the field and beyond the fence, giving Kendy another homerun. She dropped her bat and took off for first base, not pausing to watch the ball; she already knew where it was going.

“Way to go, Kendy,” yelled Annie and LJ simultaneously.

They leaned over to congratulate her parents, “this is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon watching the girls win the championship game. Thanks so much for inviting us,” said LJ. “We’re going home to get ready for Chris and Ari’s BBQ. We’ll see you there later.”

In the car, LJ asked, “do we have all the ingredients for the salad we’re bringing?”

“Yes, our contribution is a chopped salad that includes red and savoy cabbage romaine lettuce, carrots, radish sprouts, and green onions. I am making a vinaigrette of sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.”

“Ok,” said LJ thoughtfully. “You’re mixing two vegetable oils in the dressing?”

“Yes, it is a Mediterranean-style salad dressing with a rich, creamy taste and healthy benefits. So, did you know Sunflower oil is one of the few foods original to North America? The indigenous people cultivated sunflower seeds and their oil for hundreds of years. It is low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated (PUFAs) and monounsaturated (MUFAs) fatty acids. These fatty acids include omega-3s and omega-6s, which reduce cholesterol in the blood.

Olive oil is also healthy because it contains considerable amounts of MUFAs and is a reliable source of potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins like vitamin E, known to help lower the risk of heart disease.”

“I didn’t know that,” mused LJ. “I like sesame oil; cooking with it gives food a creamy, nutty taste, and it consists of 82% unsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-6 fatty acids known to help fight heart disease. Research shows sesame oil may help regulate blood sugar levels, which is especially good for people with diabetes.

Avocado oil is another favorite. The healthy fats in avocado oil are good for digestion because they nourish the gut lining and improve the absorption of carotenoids in foods, which are antioxidants that help the body combat disease, especially eye disease. Did you know avocado has prescription drug status in France due to its proven ability to combat the effects of arthritis?”

“No kidding,” exclaimed Annie. “That bolsters the fact that food is medicine. There’s also Flaxseed oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties due to its high amount of omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Our body converts this plant-based fat, which benefits the heart, lung, respiratory, and immune systems. Flaxseed oil is also an excellent way for vegans and vegetarians to get their omega-3s.

Another healthy fat is Tea Seed Oil, traditionally used in Chinese cooking. It’s remarkable for several reasons. It has a similar fatty acid profile as olive oil but contains more anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Tea seed oil has a neutral taste and is loaded with catechins, antioxidants that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also a rich source of vitamins A, B, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Did you know it takes eight years to make one bottle of tea seed oil?”

“I did not know that, Annie, but if it takes that long to make a high-quality oil which is better for our bodies and can stand up in heat and not go rancid, which damages the integrity of its fatty acids leading to inflammation at the cellular level is oil we should have in our pantry. The better-quality oils we consume, the better our overall health and the better we feel.”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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